There comes the point in every relationship where one question takes precedence over all others, “are they the one for me?” Even in this modern day and age most people still dream of finding the one person that they want to spend the rest of their life with. But that’s a big commitment, and the modern dating environment doesn’t exactly push people toward lifelong commitments.
So how do you know when it’s time to move beyond just dating and head towards a serious and lasting commitment? There are a few signs you should look out for.
Things Go Easy
Relationships don’t need to be hard to be good. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but you should still be looking for a relationship that has more ups than downs. You’ll have to work to keep your relationship as healthy as possible, but that doesn’t mean that every phase of your relationship should feel like hard labor. If your relationship feels like a struggle now then chances are it will only end up feeling harder once you get married.
She’s Fine The Way She Is
A fixer-upper might be a good investment if you’re looking for a house but the concept is a terrible idea when it comes to relationships. People only make lasting changes if they feel personally driven to change themselves. You should never expect someone to change for you, so planning on changing someone for the better over time is probably a bad idea. The behaviors that annoy you now are more likely to get worse than better. If you can’t accept her the way she is, then maybe you should look for someone who you don’t feel driven to change. Or maybe you should learn to accept imperfections.
You Can Fight With Her
Some people think that a perfect relationship means never fighting, but this simply isn’t the case. Fights will happen, both small and big. If you’ve never had a fight with your girlfriend it doesn’t mean that you’ll never have one, it means that you can’t be sure how things will go when you do end up having a serious fight. Don’t worry about having fights, they’re natural. You and she are different people with unique thoughts and opinions. Unless you’re dating a clone of yourself eventually, you’ll have disagreements. Fights aren’t the problem; the problem is how you handle those fights. Do you work to find common ground so that you come away from your fights stronger than before? Do you end up bitter with one another? Or do you try and push your feelings down? There are productive ways to solve disagreements. If your special lady knows how to fight without cutting you down or holding a grudge, then chances are she’s the sort of woman you need around in the long term.
She Fits Into Your Social Circle, And You Fit Into Hers
Relationships take a village, just like raising children. Unless you and she are complete loners, then chances are you’ve both got friends and family that you know and love. You shouldn’t have to choose between the people you cared about before you met your girlfriend and the special woman in your life. If your girlfriend clashes with your friends and family you might end up feeling like you have to choose between them. If you are forced to turn your back on people you care about, then you could easily end up resenting your girlfriend for the choice, and resentment is an acid that eats away at relationships. Also, please remember that this goes both ways. Think about how you fit in with her friends and family.
She Lifts You Up
Life is hard, we all need someone in our corner to help us through the bad times that come our way. It can be helpful to have someone who gives good advice or constructive criticism, but you don’t want to have to constantly deal with someone who is focusing on the negatives rather than the positives. You should lift her up, and she should lift you up. If you have a girl who makes you feel like you deserve to be loved, then you should hold onto her.